For the first time one of the governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina has included the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in their action plans

02In December 2015, Government of Republic of Srpska has adopted the Annual Action Plan for the implementation of Gender Action Plan (GAP), which among other things, includes specific measures for promotion and protection of rights of LGBT people. This is the first time that a government in Bosnia and Herzegovina has included in their action plans the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Annual Action Plan for Gender Equality in the Republic of Srpska includes goals and measures for improving gender equality and strengthening the system, mechanisms and instruments for achieving gender equality and enhancing cooperation and partnerships.

As one of the first activities listed, is giving opinion and expertise on harmonizing laws and regulations with the Law on Gender Equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other legal standards for gender equality, legal regulations for prevention and combating all forms of discrimination based on gender and gender-based violence (including LGBT), domestic violence and human trafficking. Furthermore, other activities include preparation of Draft measures for improvement of position and rights of LGBT people in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Europe CM / Rec (2015) 5.

Within this document the Government has also planned training for staff in Gender Centre, as well as members of Coordination Board of GAP RS and other employees from the relevant ministries that work on the rights and needs of LGBT community, as well as situation analysis on position and rights of LGBT people.

By the end of 2016, situation analysis is expected to be done, and amendment proposals for harmonization of the Criminal Code of RS, which will among other things, include the legal protection related to hate crimes that and hate speech based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Initiative that has been already adopted will be fully implemented regarding amendments of the curriculum of Police Academy of the Republic of Srpska, in order to introduce and incorporate educational sessions on hate crimes based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The implementation of these activities will be supported, as stated in the Action Plan, by Sarajevo Open Centre, as a partner organization, among others.

In addition to these activities that include work on rights of LGBT people, Sarajevo Open Centre and Gender Centre of the RS Government will work on other activities, which are related to gender equality.

Hereby we would like to emphasize that we are really proud having this opportunity to be directly involved through the work of governmental agencies to participate in improving the rights of LGBT people and women. We believe that working together; we can enhance work of institutions, as well as the state itself and the society!